Hampton’s Christian Science Church gets New Owners

The First Church of Christ, Scientist at 2808 Kecoughtan Road in Hampton, Virginia was recently sold to Zion Community Church, a multi-site church based in northern Suffolk.

According to the Hampton Christian Science church’s website:

A Christian Science Society was first organized in Hampton, Virginia, in 1906 and continued intermittently as a Society until 1919. A new Christian Science Society, Hampton, Virginia, was organized in 1924 and continued until 1940, when it was dissolved and its membership united with the Newport News church.

First Church of Christ, Scientist, Newport News, Virginia, had been organized in 1918 as an outgrowth of a Christian Science Society organized in that city in 1917. The name of the church was officially changed in 1950 to First Church of Christ, Scientist, Newport News-Hampton, Hampton, Virginia, when a new edifice was erected in Hampton at 2808 Kecoughtan Road. In 1967, an informal group in Newport News applied for recognition as a Christian Science Society, and the name of this church was again officially changed, becoming First Church of Christ, Scientist, Hampton, Virginia.

While the Hampton church’s website is still up, it has not been updated in many years and the Newport News society also does not seem to exist. The closest active Christian Science churches are in Williamsburg and Virginia Beach.

The building sits between Kecoughtan Road and Indian River Creek, Branches of the creek extend on either side of the 2.7 acre site. The one-story structure extends parallel to the road, evoking Prairie Style ranchers. The details of the building are all Georgian Colonial Revival, though as with the First Church of Christ, Scientist in Birmingham, Alabama (also erected in 1950), details on tower are cleaner and less ornamented than most colonial revival church towers and thus it looks more modern. The style of the numbers on the cornerstone also looks modern. The current spire looks to be a replacement of the original one.

A semi-circular set of windows on the enclosed porch at the rear takes advantage of the natural scenery of the site. Trees, however, now obscure the view of the creek, which in any case at low tide Indian River is basically a mud flat.

Zion Community Church

Public records show Zion purchased the church for $1.2 million on June 22, 2022. Its website lists two Hampton locations were services are currently held. Both are on Rip Rap Road in North Old Hampton. The “Downtown Hampton” location is at 22 Rip Rap Road a building that was built for Bethel Christian Church in 1913. Bethel is now located directly across the street in a new church that appears to have been built in 2001. Three blocks away at the corner of Quash Street and Rip Rap Road a former commercial building houses Zion’s “Seventh Day” location. As the name suggests, services here are on Saturday. Both locations were purchased by Zion in 2019, though they had the same series of previous owners. Perhaps they were also associated with Zion Community Church.

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